Museum Censorship by Powerful Boards is a National Problem Starting With Bismarck
Submitted by: lalapancakes⚫ 11 months ago
Earlier in April, Bismarck, North Dakota had to close their doors to Green Revolution, a Smithsonian continental-resources inspiration gallery. The exhibit was dedicated to teaching about coal reclamation, Bakken shale, and renewable ways petroleum can be recycled. Despite not having any actual public complaint lodged against the showpiece, after only three months, it closed down. Just because the exhibit didn’t rile the public doesn’t mean it didn’t have nemesis like the North Dakota Petroleum Council and North American Coal. Both lobbies openly wrote they did not appreciate some of the wording in the exhibit against non-renewables.
“And there was. On March 2, two days after receiving Ness' email, Claudia Berg, director of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, which runs the Heritage Center, had sent out an email scheduling a meeting for the following Tuesday to assess the exhibit in light of recent complaints.
On the following Tuesday, March 8, Berg made the call to close the exhibit.”
“Beka Economopolous, who directs the Natural History Museum in Brooklyn, said the self-censorship by museums is a national problem. ‘When you know the politics of your board member or major donor, you’re certainly not going to say anything in your exhibits that could potentially risk future contributions.’ ”